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Sunday, August 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ready? Go play at Board Game Nation

In the gaming area of Board Game Nation, Bret Clifton, center, explains how to play Longshot, a horse-racing themed board game Thursday, at the Spokane Valley store which Clifton owns along with Tom Powers and Ben Garrod. To the left of Clifton is Sean Cope and to the right is Angela Boehner. (Jesse Tinsley)
In the gaming area of Board Game Nation, Bret Clifton, center, explains how to play Longshot, a horse-racing themed board game Thursday, at the Spokane Valley store which Clifton owns along with Tom Powers and Ben Garrod. To the left of Clifton is Sean Cope and to the right is Angela Boehner. (Jesse Tinsley)
Juli Bergstrom Wasson

Get your game face on Spokane Valley because there’s a new place to play in town.

Board Game Nation is a retail store that sells the latest and most popular hobby board games (many referred to as Euro games because the strategic game styles with clever playing fields were first developed in Europe), as well as card games and party games.

But beyond that, owners have set up some 2,500 square feet of playing space complete with several tables and chairs for drop-in play and special game night events. There is no fee for playing and customers are welcome to bring in their own games as well if they are searching for an opponent or two.

“Games have really exploded in the last 10 years,” says co-owner Bret Clifton, a former teacher who relocated back to the area to help open the store. “The gaming culture here is still growing,” he noted.

Clifton and co-owners Tom Powers and Ben Garrod hope to be instrumental in guiding customers through the various styles and game titles – for those looking to go beyond simply rolling dice, to those seeking educational opportunities for the classroom and at home, and still for those hoping to get some fun, face-to-face interaction with family and friends.

They offer their gaming area for board, card, role playing, and miniature gaming, and collectible card games such as Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon. They hope to help both the hobbyist and casual players navigate the games as well as offer a place to gather for interaction and play.

Board Game Nation opened April 10. A grand opening celebration is scheduled today and Sunday with special discounts, prize drawings and demonstrations.

The store is an extension of Powers’ online game store business. Powers had used the location as a warehouse to store games. He recently opted to move his inventory to Ohio and open the retail store and gaming facility with Clifton and Garrod.

Customers are welcome to drop in to play during store hours. Events continue to fill the calendar, too. Currently, official game nights are Mondays and Thursdays starting at 6 p.m. Fridays beginning at 6 p.m. is Friday Night Magic, which is sanctioned by the card game maker.

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